In a sea of red, which Illawarra suburbs lean Green, Liberal or independent?
With Sydney tree-changers attracted to the area thanks to the pandemic and working from home its demographics are shifting, while its coastal climate exposure and things like Electrify 2515 movement mean there is a strong Greens vote in parts of the seat. This was especially evident in Austinmer, where more than 34 per cent of voters picked Greens candidate Cooper Riach as their first preference. Greens also did well in Bundeena, where candidate Cooper Riach is from, and the northern Illawarra's Coledale, Scarborough-Wombarra and Thirroul. In many of the Illawarra booths, the Greens did better than or on par with the Liberals, a trend not repeated in the Shire.
Overall though, the Green vote was not as strong as in the federal election, with Mr Riach only gaining 11.33 per cent of first preferences.
In the five places where Labor did worst (although it's worth noting that 'worst' here would, in any other area, be a very good result), it was mainly the Greens which took these votes. The Greens best booth in Keira was Smiths Hill High School, with more than 30 per cent of votes there going to Kit Docker - perhaps a sign of the priorities of some of the high-achieving 18-year-olds (and their parents) who attend the selective school? Other areas where a more young people live also had some of the seat's highest Greens votes - Wollongong West Public School, Wollongong Salvos in the CBD and Keiraville Public School.
... As for the Greens, recognisable candidate Cath Blakey attracted the region's strongest overall vote for the environmental party, with around 15 per cent of first preferences.
Her strongest support came from Keiraville and Wollongong Public Schools and Smith Hill High School - all in suburbs where a lot of university students and young people live.
With an independent and three minor party candidates running in Shellharbour, the Greens vote was much lower than the previous election. Jamie Dixon did best at the Hayes Park Public School booth, in Kanahooka, where he received just under 10 per cent of first preferences.
... the Greens did best at Berry and Kangaroo Valley.
Story by Kate McIlwain at the Illawarra Mercury, 30 March 2023.
NSW Election 2023 ABC Illawarra Election Forum Discussion with Cooper Riach, Nick Rheinberger and others
NSW State Election: Cooper Riach, Greens for Heathcote
Greens candidate for Heathcote Cooper Riach joins Jo Ryan on Enterprise as part of 2SSR's NSW State Election Interview Series.
Interview with Jo Ryan on Enterprise at 2SSR, 20 March 2023.
Heathcote candidates to discuss climate, environment
A NSW election candidates' forum - complete with notable climate and environmental advocates - will be held at Coledale on Sunday.
Dr Saul Griffiths, of the Electrify2515 project will speak at the event which will be emceed by author of Together We Can, Claire O'Rourke.
Expected to be joining the forum to front debate on policies being taken to the state election, will be Heathcote candidates for The Greens, Cooper Riarc
Meet the candidates for Heathcote Cooper Riach (Greens)
Climate activist Cooper Riach is representing the Greens and will be looking to replicate strong numbers seen for the party in the area at recent federal and local elections
Why are you running?
I am running to give my generation hope for the future, and to give a voice to the environmental and community issues which have been ignored by this government.
How long have you lived in the electorate/area?
I’ve lived in the electorate, in the small town of Bundeena, since 2014.
What is your final pitch to voters?
We already have the knowledge and the technology to solve the climate crisis.
We already have the wisdom and the wealth to solve the cost-of-living crisis.
All that is missing is the courage and the will to act.
Story by Dylan Arvela in the Daily Telegraph, 17 March 2023.
Midwives, nursing students should be paid for placement work, say Greens
Greens candidate for Wollongong Cath Blakey said the unpaid placements created a barrier to attracting people to these jobs.
"The Greens want to make sure that students on these placements are paid the same wage as a junior assistant in Nursing," Ms Blakey said.
"With the heightened cost of living, it's crazy to expect people to fund their own placement."
Story by Glen Humphries at the Illawarra Mercury, 15 March 2023.
Illawarra Greens candidates are looking to sure-up votes
From a housing crisis in the Northern suburbs to investing in school infrastructure in the South the party today making its priorities for the region, known. Story by Olivia Blunden at WIN News, 14 March 2023.Read more
Labor Heathcote candidate Maryanne Stuart speaks out against coal mining in the water catchment
"The Greens' policy is to shut down the Metropolitan Colliery by revoking its pollution licence. If elected I will work to phase out these mines as soon as possible to ensure the future health and security of the Illawarra/Greater Sydney water catchment."
"It is Greens policy to shutdown the Peabody Metropolitan Colliery. Given the size and location of this mine it is impossible for it to comply with any Environmental Protection Licence."
"We will support the affected workforce with ready access to training and financial security."
Cooper Riach, Greens candidate for Heathcote in the 2023 NSW state election.
These are suburbs where the environmental and Greens vote has traditionally been higher than average – Story by Ben Langford in the Illawarra Mercury, 9 March 2023.
Sitting Heathcote MP Lee Evans will start from behind
... in the mix is Cooper Riach from the Greens who, like the party's other Illawarra candidates, has been making a strong showing on the campaign trail. In the last two elections, the Greens vote has remained pretty stable at around 9 per cent, though it remains to be seen whether the move towards minor parties that happened in the federal election will carry over into NSW.
Story by Glen Humphries in the Illawarra Mercury, 7 March 2023.
Wollongong residents ride, walk for Better Streets ahead of state election
Wollongong residents have made their way through three electorates on foot or by bike, calling on state election candidates to commit to actions they say will make streets safer and more people-friendly.
Safe Streets to School spokeswoman Lena Huda said about 50 people came out over the course of the event to show their support, including Greens candidate for Heathcote Cooper Riach.
Labor's Paul Scully, Ryan Park and Maryanne Stuart and Liberal candidate Lee Evans sent their apologies, she said.
Story by Natalie Croxon in the Illawarra Mercury, 6 March 2023.